Nothing compares to a good thriller book – let your imagination go wild and feel the tension as you put yourself in the main character's situation. But when the thriller also involves the medical industry, you can relate to things that are actually likely to happen. All in all, here are the best medical thriller books from the last 5 years – get ready to be thrilled!

Bad Medicine, by James B. Cohoon

This is the second book in the series and while you do not need to go through the first one, it will give you some hints about the main characters and their roles. Basically, you have Torrey and Matthew – a couple who met while they were both studying in Stanford.

Torrey was there to honor her little sister’s memory and wanted to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. On the other hand, Matthew wanted to become a prison doctor, only to reach and kill his father’s murderer. In this second book, the two are now doctors at a local hospital from San Diego.

One thing leads to another and they find out about a friend’s niece. Their friend’s niece is a cancer patient, but she is practically taken over by a sketchy doctor who runs a cancer treatment center. She obviously loses her life and the couple must now risk their careers to revenge her.

Harvest, by Tess Gerritsen

Abby Matteo is a medical resident. She is one of the best in her class and she becomes one of the primary choices for the Bayside Hospital from Boston. She becomes a potential recruit and is approached for an interview. Her career is about to explode, but things are about to take an unusual turn later on.

Facing an unexpected situation, Abby must make a life changing decision. Eventually, she helps a dying teenager by giving him the heart of a crash victim. The problem is that the heart was supposed to go to a wealthy older patient. Repercussions will not hesitate to show up and Abby knows it.

But then, a new heart for the older patient shows up. The transplant is successful. Abby is confused and a bit of research leads her to falsified records, illicit channels and so on. The hospital asks for silence, but she starts her own investigation and discovers an incredible conspiracy. Will she talk about it or will she just cover her own career?

Postmortem, by Patricia Cornwell

This is one of the most appreciated medical thriller books out there and a great choice for those who like an intriguing mic or action and suspense. The story appears a bit confusing at first. There are four women and they have nothing in common, yet death seems to unite them in one way or another.

They are among the victims of a very intelligent monster. The so called Mr. Nobody can move freely around the city and no one knows who he is. He leaves death behind, as well as horrifying scenarios for the police. There are, indeed, a few clues left at every murder site, but nothing seems to come together.

Kay is a medical examiner and she decides to step in and help. Her intuition and skills bring her closer and closer to the maniac. However, it seems like the monster is always a few steps ahead of her. Someone might be trying to sabotage her and it looks like an inside job. Moreover, her life is at risk too.

Pandemic, by Mahi Kohansal

What does the greater good mean to you and what can fear cause you to do? This book will fire up your thoughts concerning human behavior especially during very critical situations. If you are into drama or psychological medical thrillers, Pandemic is what to read. The book is filled with all that you expect from an excellent thriller; unexpected twists, some bit of action, and suspense. Character development has also been exemplarily done by this author throughout this story.

Just like any other ordinary day in a doctor’s life, Doctor Zhang has left his house for work. Upon arrival, he instantly realizes that this particular day is not like any other. The hospital corridors, halls, and rooms are packed with patients. Almost every one of them is fighting a fatal disease and they are all on a time clock as they try to fight and spend their last moments.

Meanwhile, the government has also locked up all those contaminated with this disease in a secluded camp. The residents have to deal with a lot of anxiety, fear, and they have all despaired. With the condition and situation becoming intolerable in the camp, these residents will discover their true selves, frailty, and exhilarating strengths.

The Noise, by James Patterson

Filled with horror and immense suspense, The Noise is another of the best medical thriller books of 2021. A massive explosion has ripped an Oregon Mt Hood town and the community is almost wholly destroyed. The only survivors are Sophie and Tennant Riggin. Why are they the only ones that have survived? Investigators have been sent to uncover this mystery. Dr. Martha Chan has also been tasked with studying these two girls. On this team also, is Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Fraser who mistrusts civilians and has been tasked to contain them.

This earsplitting noise is continuing and has even spread across the Pacific Northwest. It is now threatening to break the chain of command and everything is getting out of control. Lieutenant Fraser and Dr. Chan are also caught between the threat’s perpetrators and those that can survive it. How will this team be able to investigate and contain what they don’t understand? What is the cause?

This story is mainly centered on Dr. Chan but how will she treat what she cannot make out? She also suffers an oppositional-defiant disorder but is also determined to help these two girls and others. Read to see how fear and confusion play out.

Blood Oath, by Russell Bessette

What makes this book an exquisite read is that it is inspired and written based on a hands-on medical experience. The book is the fourth instalment of the Sue Whitney Series.

Sue Whitney, an FBI agent and trauma surgeon, has discovered an immoral plan for residents to be murdered. She is in a nursing home trying to assist her former teacher Dr. Robert Hedges, who is currently living with cancer.

Sue is working to protect Dr. Robert Hedges, who is her mentor, from evil family members who are coming up with a plan and attempting to steal his fortune. During this time, she unravels a plot that involves abusing COVID-19 patients and the rampant spread of this deadly disease in the care homes.

The care home’s CEO is very corrupt and state government officials are also covering up for Dr. Hedges’ sinister relatives for their vile intentions. No one ever thought Sue would get involved. She must now work very fast to make known these evildoers otherwise, they might just get away with murder. Can she expose these culprits on time? Read this book and find out how she will use her expertise.

Blind Trial, by Brian Deer

Blind Trial is such an exciting and captivating story that once you start you will read to the end. This gripping story will have all your emotions fully elevated, from laughter to fear. A young lawyer and a doctor met during a biotech conference in Washington. The institution they work for has an important announcement; a new vaccine that will protect many lives. It is safe and effective as determined by the trial and the government is soon approving it.

At the trial’s clinical center in San Francisco, there is trouble. Sumiko Honda, who is one of the institution’s physicians has claimed that the results of the vaccine’s research were altered and that several patients have disappeared. This is why attorney Ben Louviere is on this particular assignment, to silence the doctor by whatever means.

What makes the Blind Trial a thrilling read is the development of the story through suspense. The lawyer, a character of our time, is ethically challenged and cannot tell what is right or wrong. The story is woven in deceit and even murder. You will keep wanting to see what each party will do in their attempt to satisfy their intentions and get concerned about what will happen.

Dead Already, by Mike Krentz

What evil may lurk in a doctor’s life and hospital chaos? From the adrenaline rush of the Emergency Room opening scenes to the unforeseen twists as you read along, this fast-paced and intriguing medical thriller will have you guessing and flipping the well-written pages. If you are a fan of provoking medical suspense, pick up Dead Already.

Doctor Zack Winston who works in the hospital ER finds himself caught between a malicious malpractice suit. This is only the beginning. There is a bigger conspiracy linked to this suit which makes him start doubting if he can trust anyone. Murder and trading drugs are involved. He and his attorney Bridget Larsen are now in a race to unravel the truth about this matter and save lives, theirs included, but more lives are also under threat. Their push and pull relationship is making things difficult too. Past relationships and current associations are destabilizing.

What sets this book apart is its elevated writing. The story is deep and the characters have their nuances and complexities. The glimpse of the hidden details of what a front-line medical worker goes through and a grief examination excellently put together this taut thriller.

The Mercy of Snakes (Nameless Book 5), by Dean Koontz

It all starts with a bunch of unusual deaths affecting a retirement home located in an exclusive community. The place is also suitable for those with terminal illnesses who want to require assisted death. It looks ultra luxurious, but things are a bit sketchy, especially as the victims did not seem to be dying in the first place.

Nameless starts an adventure by getting in touch with a former resident who managed to get out of the home. A bunch of terrifying secrets is then released and the truth seems closer than ever. But is it?

Lock In, by John Scalzi

The fun part about medical thrillers is that some of those things can actually become a reality. Some of them might happen right now, without the world to be aware of them. Lock In looks like a sinister prediction of what is going on these days.

A new virus targets the world. It is not the coronavirus, but an unknown virus that causes full paralysis. Practically, patients experience a complete body paralysis, but their minds are lucid and awake. The USA decides to come up with a virtual reality scenario for the victims, but things do not always go as planned.

The Price Of Time, by Tim Tinger

If you like Micharl Crichton and Agatha Christie, this medical thriller is a mix between their styles. Imagine Silicon Valley, an invention, a new discovery, some agents, a few assassins willing to keep things secret and some hot locations around.

You will guess, change your mind and jump to all kinds of conclusions while going through this mysterious intellectual challenge, but it will be worth it.

Pandemic (The Extinction Files Book 1), by A. G. Riddle

Pandemic (The Extinction Files Book 1) is another realistic representation of what is happening today. It all starts with a virus that kills people in Kenya. People keep getting infected and the virus has no borders – it spreads all over the world.

Dr. Peyton Shaw is in an alarming race to find a cure, but will she? Her challenge will also bring out some of the darkest secrets of the humankind.

Genesis, by Robin Cook

Young social worker Kera Jacobsen ends up dead. She was 10 weeks pregnant. No one knows who the father was. At the same time, it looks like she had a drug overdose. While her family swears she never did any drugs, the hospital insists the investigation should be quiet.

The new pathology resident Aria Nichols aims to solve this problem and find the secret behind the social worker's death. One thing leads to another and…

Exhume (Dr. Schwartzman Book 1), by Danielle Girard

Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman works as a medical examiner and helps detectives find out what happens to victims before they died. It is a quiet job that does not involve any pressure – especially after she barely managed to escape from her abusive husband.

But things go a bit weird one day. The victim on her table looks like a brief resemblance of herself. Memories come to mind and a bit of evidence shows that the killer is not done yet. At this point, the doctor is not sure whether she is trying to find a killer or literally keeping herself safe, as she could be the next victim.

The Last Widow (Will Trent Book 9), by Karin Slaughter

This New York Times bestseller will take you from one scenario to another – one conclusion to another too. It all starts with a kidnapping – a bunch of people grabs a scientist in the parking lot of a mall. The action moves in a different direction. Some of Atlanta's most important locations are bombed in what seems to be a terrorist event.

They seem unrelated, but assailants soon abduct the medical examiner responsible for the case. Her partner goes undercover in the attempt to save both her and thousands of potential victims.


Bottom line, these are some of the best medical thriller books of 2021, 2020 and 2019. While other titles could have easily made it on the list, these top sellers gained an international reputation in no time, so they should definitely be on your list for your next day on the beach or in a hammock in your backyard.​

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